Ras Al Khaimah property market gets boost from tourism, hospitality sectors

Above, the five-star Rixos Bab Al Bahr hotel in Ras Al Khaimah. (Courtesy Rixos Bab Al Bahr)
Updated 29 July 2017

Ras Al Khaimah property market gets boost from tourism, hospitality sectors

DUBAI: Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism and hospitality sectors buoyed the emirate’s property market during the first half, thanks to continuing government efforts promote it as a visitor destination.
The residential market meanwhile continued to suffer from weaker demand, and was further pressured by declining rentals rates in neighboring emirates, consultancy CBRE said in its latest property report on Ras Al Khaimah.
The combined demand weakness and lower rates “have brought about deflation in rental performance” for the emirate, CBRE said.
Ras Al Khaimah’s strategy to focus on global markets resulted into a 10 percent increase in international guest arrivals as of June, mostly coming from Germany, Russia, the UK and India.
After welcoming 390,499 guests from January to June, which was 6.5 percent higher compared with the same period last year, the Ras Al Khaimah government expects to surpass its annual target of 900,000 visitors for 2017.
A steady rise in visitor arrivals, coupled with a limited number of hotel rooms being added to the market, pushed average occupancy rates higher to 75.1 percent in the first half, CBRE said, as against 70.9 percent during the same period of 2016.
Hotels in the emirate likewise reported improved revenues from their available rooms during the first half, which rose to Dh456 per room for each guest night versus Dh426 last year.
Revenue per available room is a performance metric used in the hotel industry and is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s average daily room rate by its occupancy rate.
The 240-room Hilton Garden Inn, which replaced the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah when it closed in 2015 for refurbishment, and Cove Rotana’s 112-room expansion were completed during the second quarter, adding 352 new keys in the emirate’s hospitality market.
“RAK’s hospitality market remains on a positive course, aided by the relative low levels of new room supply, CBRE said. “With future supply levels also remaining constrained in the short term, we expect a continuation of the current growth trends during the remainder of the year and into 2018, presuming current visitor forecasts are met or bettered.”


Thailand finance minister: economy to recover next year with 4% growth

Updated 23 November 2020

Thailand finance minister: economy to recover next year with 4% growth

  • Economy had bottomed but recovery was not fast as the battered tourism sector hurt supply chains
  • Budget for the next fiscal year will still focus on boosting domestic activity

BANGKOK: Thailand’s economy is expected to grow 4 percent in 2021 after a slump this year and fiscal policy will support a tourism-reliant economy struggling from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the finance minister said on Monday.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy shrank a less than expected 6.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier after falling 12.1 percent in the previous three months.
The economy had bottomed but recovery was not fast as the battered tourism sector, which accounts for about 12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), has also hurt supply chains, Finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said.
“Without the COVID, our economy could have expanded 3 percent this year, he said. “As we expect a 6 percent contraction this year, there is the output gap of 9 percent,” he told a business forum.
“Next year, we expect 4 percent growth, which is still not 100 percent yet,” Arkhom said, adding it could take until 2022 to return to pre-pandemic levels.
There is still fiscal policy room to help growth from this year’s fiscal budget and some from rehabilitation spending, he said.
The budget for the next fiscal year will still focus on boosting domestic activity, Arkhom said, and the current public debt of 49 percent of GDP was manageable.
Of the government’s 1 trillion baht ($33 billion) borrowing plan, 400 billion would be for economic revival, of which about 120 billion-130 billion has been approved, Arkhom said.
He wants the Bank of Thailand to take more action short term on the baht, which continued to rise on Monday, despite central bank measures announced on Friday to rein in the currency strength.
“They have done that and they have their measures... which should be introduced gradually and more intensely,” Arkhom said.